Monday, August 03, 2009

After the Mudawana Revision

Writing for IPS, Daan Bouwens reminds us that the 2004 family law revision was not a panacea for problems facing Moroccan women:
"In spite of the reform, inequality in the family context persists. Moroccan women face persisting domestic violence. A report earlier this month from the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) denounced the 'perseverance of segregation and violence against women.'

"The AMDH says continuing violence is a 'real obstacle' to gender equality. 'The different initiatives and plans announced by the government after the approval of the new Mudawana remain a question mark...'

"The new text of the Mudawana is not applied strictly by family court judges. Recent figures show that marriage to minor girls is on the rise - according to the ministry of justice, family court judges received 30,312 requests for marriages to minors in 2006.

"In 2007 the number of applications went up to 39,000, of which 68 percent were approved. One in ten marriages in 2007 involved underage girls. The numbers for 2008 have not yet been published.

"'Judges have the tendency to take decisions according to their own moral standards, as if they were on a moral mission to save the values of the patriarchal family,' says Rabia Naciri. 'Other than that, there are politicians that dare to state the Mudawana is not applied because society is not ready for it.'"

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